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Intellectual Property Issues

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Intellectual Property Issues

2016 IP Viewpoints

‘Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots’:
U.S. Copyright Protection for Applied Art

Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia University School of Law
June 29, 2016

United States copyright law explicitly enumerates “pictorial, graphic or sculptural works” [henceforth “PGS works”] among the subject matter of copyright. These include “works of artistic craftsmanship,”…. » Read More

IP Law and the Capacity To Take a Joke
Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University
June 24, 2016

Louis Vuitton can’t take a joke. That was the view of Judge Jesse Furman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of NewYork in a decision earlier this year involving a trademark and copyright infringement action brought by Louis Vuitton against My Other Bag, Inc. » Read More

Losing Credit: Legal Reponses to Social Media
Platforms’ Stripping of Copyright Management
Metadata from Photographs

Prof. Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia University School of Law
May 30, 2016

Photographers, graphic designers, and photo agencies have expressed dismay over the systematic stripping of copyright management information (CMI), including author identification, from images uploaded to social media platforms. » Read More

Being Interviewed Shouldn’t Yield Automatic
Ownership Right in Author’s Finished Work

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University
May 24, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in a decision by Judge Leigh Martin May, recently issued an order allowing a copyright infringement case brought on behalf of 54 Sudanese refuges against the makers of the film “The Good Lie.” The 2014 film, which starred Reese Witherspoon, depicts the struggle of survivors of militia attacks in Darfur attempting to make their way to the United States. » Read More

Storytelling, the First Amendment, and Right of Publicity
Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University
February 29, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently decided a major right-of-publicity case with important implications for creative works based on real events.  The case, arising from the film “The Hurt Locker,” was Sarver v. Chartier. » Read More

Improv, Sketch, and Copyright
Prof. Randal C. Picker, University of Chicago Law School
February 10, 2016

For roughly the last two years, I have been taking improv classes, first at Chicago’s legendary Second City and more recently at iO (equally well-known in the comedy community but probably less well-known to the general public). I will sound as if I have joined a cult if you get me to talk about improv, but I will just say that it is an activity with many virtues (I describe it, at its core, as pure creativity plus listening practice and we can always do with better listeners). » Read More

‘Security Failure Fair Use Analysis’
Prof. Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia University School of Law
January 25, 2016

The 1980s brought us market failure fair use analysis. Will the 20-teens bring us security failure fair use analysis, particularly in cases of mass digitization? … In security failure fair use analysis, the failure leads to the opposite outcome (no fair use), but the two kinds of failure may play similar roles. » Read More